The natural turnover of skin cells means that any tan will in reality only last between six and ten days (I know, shocking isn’t it). But there are several things you can do before, during and after your holiday to prolong your tan for as long as possible.
Whilst we recommend that you exfoliate your skin twice a week, whether going on holiday or not, to keep it healthy-looking and help beauty products do their job, it is important pre-holiday to get scrubbing. Dry skin and dead skin cells can lead to uneven tanning and peeling. Slough away dead skin cells with an exfoliator such as Burt’s Bees Gentle Honey and Shea Sugar Scrub, packed with ground almonds, or Aromatherapy Associates Nourishing Enrich Body scrub, full of frankincense and sweet almond oil. LN recommends packing exfoliating mitts to use daily with a light rubbing motion over skin to keep sun-kissed skin glowing and prevent dead skin building up.
Before you go, optimise your skin’s tanning ability with a pre-tanning lotion such as Elemis Tan Accelerator, containing shea butter, macademia nut oil and tyrosine, an amino acid which is present in the body and used by cells to activate melanin production. Enriched with the antioxidant isoquercetin, Lancaster’s Tan Preparer Sun Preparing Hydrating Water, is a melanin-boosting spray with active ingredients and a divine scent.
Wearing sunscreen is vital to ensure your tan lasts. You need to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, and allowing skin to burn causes any colour to fade more quickly, as burnt skin means the skin’s cells have become damaged and is likely to result in peeling. Opt for a broad spectrum of sunscreen and re-apply throughout the day. Most of us under-apply sun cream, so apply yours at least 30 minutes before going into the sun and use at least two tablespoon- sized dollops each time. One bottle of lotion should last just a few days on holiday. Carrot Sun, contains henna to enhance colour, tyrosine to boost melanin production and essential fatty acids to nourish sun-exposed skin. Apply after your normal sun cream for a deeper, long lasting tan.
Research shows that staying hydrated will help to extend the life of your tan by preventing the epidermis from drying out quickly. So drink as much water as possible throughout the day. Keep peeling at bay by ensuring you use a nourishing post-sun moisturiser on both the face and body. Use Phytomer Sun Soother After Sun Facial Mask, to soothe sun-parched skin and protect against ageing. Using an after sun such as Piz Buin After Sun Tan Intensifier, is a great way to top up your natural tan and extend the colour even as it begins to fade. It contains anti-inflammatory ingredients like aloe vera and bisabol and counteracts the skin’s ageing with Vitamin E and B5 which stops free radicals. Sisley’s indulgent After Sun Tan Extender, is a soothing, moisturising lotion with a light self-tanning effect leaving skin radiant and with a golden glow, whilst the ever-popular After Sun Auto-Bronzant from Clarins, is a gorgeous cream with watermelon extract and self-tanning properties to keep skin soft and smooth whilst maintaining and deepening your tan.